AN ARCHIVAL collection of 'little black dresses' that highlights Scotland’s involvement in the history of the iconic garment is on display in Saltcoats.

The exhibition began on July 9 as part of celebrations for World Fashion Day and can be viewed from Monday to Wednesday and the last Saturday of each month throughout the summer at the North Ayrshire Heritage Centre.

Accessible between 9.30am-1pm and 2-4.30pm, the display has been organised with the help of volunteers at Dalgarven Mill Museum in Kilwinning.

Louise Allan, assistant heritage and cultural officer, said: “The Heritage Team is always delighted to partner with the independent museums in North Ayrshire and beyond, sharing resources, collections and expertise, and this is one of the best collaborations to date, with the Heritage Centre looking like one big fancy party!

“The dresses in our display have come from the amazing costume collection at Dalgarven Mill Museum, which has grown over the years under the management of their Curator, Rob Ferguson.

“One piece we are particularly excited about is a stunning dress created by Murielle of Sauchiehall Street- one of Scotland’s most prestigious dressmakers.”

Visitors will be able to follow the story of the little black dress (LBD) throughout history through the thirty dresses on display which all illustrate different iterations and imaginings of the dress.

Designed by Coco Chanel in 1926, the LBD has remained a staple of modern fashion nearly 100 years after its creation, thanks in part to the influence of Scotland’s designers and dressmakers.

Councillor Alan Hill said: “This is a fantastic example of the council’s partnership working to share the stories and legacy of people from North Ayrshire and in this case, their prominent impact on the world of fashion.

“The beautiful dresses span from the 1920s to 1960s, each with their own story to tell and a member from the Heritage Team will be in attendance if you have any questions or are looking to find out more about the fashion and costume collection.”

Inspired by their time in London during the 1950s, curators Rob and Moira Ferguson have a vast collection of dresses, fashion accessories, gents’ outfits, and textiles dating back to the 1700s.

Roughly 2,500 items of clothing are in the collection at Dalgarven Mill Museum and can be viewed on a seasonal, rotational basis.